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September 9, 2014

Miami Incident: Jim Morrison Arrest Mugshot for Warrant of Exposing Himself During a Concert in 1969

Jim Morrison posed for this mug shot following his 1970 conviction in Florida on misdemeanor indecent exposure and profanity charges. The singer was busted after he exposed himself during a March 1969 concert in Miami. As seen here, Morrison, who was photographed by Dade County's Public Safety Department, testified on his own behalf at trial.

On March 1, 1969, a Miami jury convicted one James Douglas Morrison — better known as the Lizard King, Mr. Mojo Risin, or simply Jim — on misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and open profanity. The verdict came more than a year after The Doors infamous concert at a converted seaplane hangar in Coconut Grove called the Dinner Key Auditorium, where Jim allegedly whipped out his [insert colloquialism for ‘penis’ here] in front of a crowd of about 12,000 Miami fans.

Whether he actually did any such thing, the “Miami Incident” may never have garnered national headlines if not for the attention of a Miami Herald reporter named Larry Mahoney. An FSU student at the same time as Jim, Mahoney has gone down in “Justice for Jim” circles as the opportunistic muckraker whose exaggerated accounts of the concert goaded goadable Miami politicians into proving their law-enforcement bona fides at Jim’s expense.

Here’s an excerpt of Mahoney’s “Rock Group Fails to Stir A Riot,” from March 3, 1969:
Many of the nearly twelve thousand youths said they found the bearded singer’s exhibition disgusting. Included in the audience were hundreds of unescorted junior and senior high school girls... Morrison appeared to masturbate in full view of the audience, screamed obscenities, and exposed himself. He also got violent, slugged several [concert promoters], and threw one of them off the stage before he himself was hurled into the crowd.
Tickets were $6 in advance, $7 at the door. The band expected to play for 6,000 people for a $25,000 fee. But promoter Kenneth Collier, who ran Thee Image concert hall in Miami Beach, oversold the event, Morrison’s camp claimed. Collier, who has since died, publicly blamed Morrison.

At showtime, 10,600 kids jammed the hall; thousands more milled about outside. Morrison was late after missing a Los Angeles-to-Miami flight. He began drinking, recalled the band’s then-manager William Siddons in a telephone interview from California.

“Jim was always drunk; that was nothing unusual,” said Siddons, who accompanied Morrison to Miami.

It was supposed to be a homecoming of sorts for Morrison. Born in Melbourne, the son of an admiral, he attended St. Petersburg Junior College and Florida State University before heading west to launch his poet-as-rock-star career.

Things unraveled quickly on stage. Morrison started and stopped in mid song. He peppered the crowd with questions, obscene requests and four-letter words. He called for a revolution among the spectators.

The audience grew angry, hurling insults.

Morrison finally asked: “Do you want to see my c--k.”

Miami Beach teen David LeVine, then 25, was at the foot of the stage with his camera.

“I had come expecting to shoot a baby-faced Morrison and was disappointed to find he had a bushy beard and you could hardly tell it was him,” he said.

One of LeVine’s pictures, later presented in court, showed Morrison with his hand near the crotch of his pants. “Never saw him expose himself, though,“ LeVine said.

Not true, said Theodore Jendry, then 28, one of 30 off-duty Miami officers at the concert. “He pulled out his business and started whirling it,” said the retired Jendry, of Deerfield Beach. “He should have been arrested right there.”

Siddons, the band's manager, said Morrison knew he had gone too far. On the limo ride back to a Miami Beach hotel, Siddons remembered Morrison telling him: “’Uh, oh, I might have exposed myself out there.”

“He didn’t do it for prurient reasons. It was theater,” Siddons said. “But it happened in Florida, a real black and white state, and it was the South.”

Following the concert, Morrison and his band went on vacation to Jamaica. Meanwhile, the backlash against him in Miami picked up steam. Radio stations briefly stopped playing Light My Fire, Hello, I Love You and Touch Me.

Then came the decency rally at the Orange Bowl. Backed by the Archdiocese of Miami, local teens organized the event and drew 30,000 people. Among them: singer and Florida native Anita Bryant. Even President Richard Nixon called to congratulate the organizers.

Four days after the concert, six warrants on obscenity charges were issued for Morrison, who eventually surrendered to the FBI in Los Angeles.

Arrest warrant for Jim Morrison.

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